1974 Triumph Spitfire 1500 brochure (US)


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by Eric Kieboom &
Jacob Poortstra
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This 1974 brochure shows the early US-market 1500 - in effect, a late MkIV with a 1500 engine and a front spoiler. These 1500's were available on the North-American markets a full year before the 1500 came to other markets and can be distinguished by their MkIV style badges, which say 'Spitfire 1500' instead of 'Spitfire MkIV'.
At the time this brochure came out, more than 200,000 Triumph Spitfires had been built and over 80,000 of those had ended up in America.
Nicely composed picture of the 1500 MkIV Spit next to Old Nr. 97 and a pretty girl in an oversized hat. Old Nr. 97 is still running today at the Valley Railroad Company in Essex, Connecticut, where many of the pictures in this brochure were taken.
Another example of good photography, although the models are moving and hence out of focus. Europeans should note the oversized black bumper guards, typical for US market Spitfires of the time. They're called 'high-impact synthetic rubber bumper guards' according to the text, which also mentions the reinforcements (but not the extra weight) these cars had to comply with the 5Mph impact rules of those days.
A collage of photographs, showing details like cockpit, dashboard, optional hardtop, engine compartment and the 'roomy trunk', which we all know should be called 'boot' on a British car. Apparently, the bullet-shaped rear view mirror came as standard in the US.
And here we come to a full spread with technical details. It's a pity the small letters don't scan well without ending up with a huge filesize, since there are lots of interesting details here. The text in the yellow bar at the top has some interesting history on British motorcar engineering and mentions such famous names as Donald Healey, Ken Richardson and Spencer King. Pity none of them had anything to do with the humble Triumph Spitfire...
Racing was always an important marketing instrument for Triumps in the US. Spitfires were reasonably successful in their class, and the marketers were always eager to point this out. It was important enough to spend a whole two pages on.
And so we come to the rear cover of this brochure, where we see the two human models are still out of focus and we note how the Spitfire of the day did not have a blacked-out rear light panel any more, but retained the gleaming stainless steel tail trim of its MkIV ancestor. Note also the beefed up centre panel on the rear bumper, the somewhat smaller-than-usual plinth on top of the rear bumper and the US-market-only rear numberplate lights. European Spitfires of this time had the numberplate lights in a larger plinth on the bumper.

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